Importance of Good Author Bio and Photo

Author Bio and Photo are the first thing that would communicate about the author with the prospective readers and hence its importance cannot be negated, in fact it deserves your utmost attention.

Pick up any book at a store and by instinct we would first flip it over and see the plot summary followed by author bio. We even notice the picture of the author and probably identify the author and have an image of him/her in our minds. Now imagine you picking up a book and looking at an incomplete or very brief author bio? Or just gazing at an unprofessional looking photograph of the author? Chances are you may develop an image or prejudice about the author or atleast for the book and there are instances when people actually move away to the next book. This is especially critical for new author or relatively newer authors.

Author bio is important for you as an author to build a rapport with your readers even though you are not directly interacting with them. Readers pick up the book and they find a good detailed yet brief author bio that is well written, tells about you but not the boring details or personal life but just the things relevant like your qualifications, previous notable achievements or famous books, authors you admire, your favourite book, a bit of insight into your life. Make it to the point, engaging and not too boringly long. The reason as mentioned above is that it is what talks about you and on your behalf to the readers and is probably the first point to engage them in your current and future writings.

Now that we know why the author bio is important, let’s talk about the second equally important part, namely the Author Photo. You shouldn’t have a cool party pic as your author photo that is a given and pretty obvious, at the same time you need not post a suited up corporate looking photo either. The photo should be professional looking and you should be looking well groomed in it, but at the same time it can reflect your personality. For instance, if you are an animal lover, a picture with your pet can do no harm as long as it is a good looking photograph. Your reader knows who you are, what your personality is and that builds an image in their minds, that can be pretty much fixed and long lasting. It is important to have a good author photo that is a balance of casual and professional while not being too shabby at the same time not too boring either. You can always take opinions of well-wishers and friends and family who can give an unbiased opinion.

You may wonder that all of this is relevant for the paperback books and not so much for the digitally published eBooks, but it has equal importance here too. Even eBooks have author pics and author bio, so well, yeah it is important and all the above holds true in this medium too. So if you are about to publish an eBook or a Paperback, a good click with and some good words about yourself should be on top of your mind.

Photos to eBook: PhotoBook made easy

Making an album with pictures has been essential for ages to preserve memories. This phenomena is however now going digital with Photobooks being made that are easy to make and pack in way more than the traditional photo albums.

Your recent family trip was great and you have some real great snaps to show off; but then if the snaps are great, still a mere slideshow on your laptop or a bunch of uploads on Social network is all you can think of, right? It is time to change. Yeah well, there’s Instagram and Pinterest and a lot of other ways to share your photos differently, but then they do not tell a story. Do they? I mean yes of course a picture says a thousand words but then not every picture speaks for itself unless it is shown in totality with a few others. Also instead of carrying all the pictures and browsing through, won’t it be great if they are made into something that is more efficient, easy to manage and also aids your story telling? What’s more it can be a great alternative to the traditional photo albums we are all used to. A PhotoBook is all that and lot more.

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Just like a book often tells a story or provides information, a PhotoBook does the same. You can insert text, fancy doodles, captions, clip arts and a lot more with of course, Photographs. You can describe the photo, add a special mention, date it, whatever, it is up to you and it is your call how to make it. And all this is as simple as ‘Drag – n – Drop’. You can even choose templates or themes of your choice, pick and insert stuff from your computer, social networking sites etc and you are good to go. And while it sounds like too many options to have, it is not at all that complicated. It is very simple, fast and easy to get hold of and make a great PhotoBook. You are most welcome to try it out on our site or get in touch with us at PapyrusEditor and we will be glad to help you out.

There are various ways to utilize the potential of a photobook. Social media sharing in one thing, but how about gifting it!It is a great gift for your loved ones and suitable for any occasion. Photos capture memories and a PhotoBook can go a long way in preserving these memories, add meaning to it and add your special touch to it too. Moreover it is digital so again easy and anytime access is the thing that goes without saying. So what are you waiting for? Make yourself a PhotoBook now.

Importance of editors

Writing a great book is almost impossible without an equally good edit. Editing is the heart of making a good story greater by keeping it to the point at the same time not cutting into the charm of it.

Your completed book or rather the manuscript requires an edit before it is worthy of publication, be it digital or otherwise. But since you have written the book, who better to edit the story than you? I mean you are the visionary behind the manuscript so it is only fitting that you are the one who edits it. WRONG. You can be easily biased towards your own words and characters. You are too involved in the story and cutting into it, if required is not an option for you. Yes, you can very well say “yeah, this part of the story is too dragged, or these lines need some better framing” but the fact is there is a perception in your mind, which may not be how a part of the book may sound to the end reader. There are lot of other factors involved too, and merely thinking you would be able to do it since you are the author, is a mistake since it won’t happen the way it should be.

So now you may think that ok, if not me then I have a friend who is great in English, or your spouse is also an author and can do it for you. But again you may be mistaken. Being good with English will help in getting a good error free book and can be great for proof reading, but how does it lead to a good edit? Edit is not just reading and checking the spellings or sentence formation and grammar. It is much more than that and deals with the pacing and the narrative of the book. Also if your friends, relatives, spouse, or anyone you know is about to “edit” your book, could be mindful of your feelings or thought about your book. They may not be that comfortable telling you that certain chapters are a bit drag or they are not able to follow the real point in it or that some sentences are too dry or unappealing. They may even share your knowledge about the intricacies of the story and again may be biased towards it.

The best recourse is to have an Editor who is unbiased and knows the job well. Yes, you may think that it way too expensive to involve an editor and only adds to the cost for something you or people you know may do for free or at much lesser costs. However thing to understand here is that it is vital to have an unbiased view on your book and only then will the book turn out the way it should be. The correct pace, dialogues, the flow of the story, the much needed cut, the essential extra explanation etc, is all that is required in the story for it to appeal to the end readers and strike a chord. And hence the time and money you put into a good edit is worth it.

You may even contact us at Papyruseditor for your editorial needs and to find out cost effective ways of getting your book edited. We will be glad to help you out. But all in all, you will be doing your book a big favour by getting a good editor on board.

Importance of Book Fairs, Marketing eBooks at book fairs

 Book Fairs can be a real stimulus for the authors by interacting with one another and feeding off each other’s creativity. Also the buzz generated around those can mean more potential readers and followers for the books at display.

EBooks have opened various avenues for authors and not just for the way books are written, published, and sold, but also the way they are marketed and promoted. However, there are still certain basics that remain constant whether they are eBooks or paperback-books, like primarily books in any form need to be targeted at mainly book-lovers and then hope that in the process you may come across some new potential readers who might be first time readers. To meet this end, there can be no better place than a book fair because at book fairs you are likely to get people who are readers, book lovers and it can be an ocean of targeted audiences so your promotional activity is more streamlined and focussed.

Of all the various promotional ways on offer for marketing your eBooks, Book Fairs offer a more direct and unique opportunity for it. There is a ready audience, moving crowds, a firsthand feel of the response and interactions with the audiences; all these are actually pretty great from a marketing stand point. Even if you do not want to hard sell your work, being at a book fair is a great way to get people to know about your book. If you have put in the hard work why not let others get familiarized with it? Also as authors it is a great platform to meet other authors and enhance your network. You may meet some budding authors with fresh ideas and some experienced pros from whom, you can learn a few things. It is just a win-win situation for all participants.

Book fairs are great places to have a targeted audience as well as willing participants who would readily be interested. They may or may not be interested in your genre of book, but at least the audiences are book lovers so rather than you aiming to target a large crowd hoping to get some interested people in to follow your books and maybe download, buy and read them, here at book fairs you are aiming at only those who are into books, so to speak. This way your efforts are more targeted, the end result can be more conversions and chances are your efforts would bear sweeter fruits as compared to marketing and promotional activity through other mediums. Also the biggest advantage of being at a book fair is that people know you too exist, if you are a relatively new author. If offers a great platform for being seen and noticed, and this can be a great way to go ahead.

Digital Distractions: How to avoid and focus on writing??

With things going digital, everything is available at a click of a button and cool things linger in front of us whole day long. So how does a writer avoid being drawn into the digital whirlpool and focus on writing?

Technology is everywhere and it is the main reason self-publishing exists in the first place. Things are digital and just a mouse click away. There are bunch of friends sharing real-time updates about where they are what are they doing, some interesting article trending somewhere, TV shows, movie trailers, emails, chats, socializing and so much more. It is all just there at your finger tips.

But, something else that is also at your finger tips is WORDS you TYPE in to WRITE. Isn’t all this too distracting when you are actually planning to write? How often does a 20 min writing exercise snowball into a 2 hour gig? I am sure, pretty often. It happens to a lot of us. It is the Digital Age and with it, are the Digital Distractions and invariably we writers find ourselves being carried far away from task at hand and into the realm of the internet. So how can we avoid these, how can we focus more on writing and less on the distractions? Actually is it much simpler than we may think.

Short Writing Times:

The best way to stay off distractions is to be occupied for smaller amounts of time. If your writing routine is too long and monotonous, you will be tempted to be distracted, you will beg for a change and that is when the digital distractions will get the better of you. Hence is it better to keep smaller writing times so that you get periodic breaks to recharge, go away, and keep writing.

Fixed Targets:

Keep fixed targets and stick to it. Even if you can squeeze in some more, don’t. Why? Well, if you go by fixed targets you will in a few days, be programmed that way. So when there are days when you feel the urge to give into distractions; your habit of meeting the daily target will come in the way and keep you in check. If you have to write say 250 words in one go, do so and as soon as you end the 250th word, stop and leave. Even if it means leaving in between a line, fine, next day you at least know where to start.

Switch of that router:

Best way to stay off distractions after you have devised a writing time and target is to switch off the internet completely while you are writing. If it is not accessible, how will you be distracted?

Add some Distraction time in our schedules:

Having said that, the main purpose of having short writing times and daily targets, is to allow for some free time in between. This time is your ‘Distraction Time’. At these times you should indulge to satiate your urge for the INTERNET and other forms of DIGITAL-DISTRACTIONS and well, get voluntarily distracted.

Avoid researching, at least for now:

While you are into the whole writing thing, do not think of hitting Google to research any facts that you may need to write. This is because the moment you interrupt your writing flow and hit the web for research, the mystical inter-linking network will pull you in and before you know it, it will be a couple of hours before you realize you are not writing at all. So, while writing if you need to write some facts then simply write in GOOGLE or SEARCH or BING or X or whatever little code that you can research and Replace later with the required facts using the FIND and REPLACE option of your word processor. This way you are writing in a flow and then researching only after your target and time is up.

Switch off that cell-phone:

Switching off the cell phone or at least putting it on silent and away from your desk while you are writing is a great and proven way to concentrate more on the work at hand and be away from digital distractions.

These are some ways to avoid digital distractions and keep writing. Hope they help, hope you stay away from wandering about.

Ebook marketing with promotional materials

Promoting your eBook has many aspects to it. While the regular promotional and marketing routine is what most follow, using promotional materials to your advantage is the key to effective promotions.

Promoting your eBook would require some promotional materials to be in place, the usual from a good book cover, and some excerpts from your book, the press release, etc. While all this is fine, the key is to have the right kind of promotional content and materials to make the most of your marketing and promotional activity.

Recollection of Title: The title although is your prerogative and also the demand of the story but that title should be easy to recollect. Well, you do not need to change the title just because your promotional activity demands so, but make sure the title is visible in the promotional materials multiple times. It should be registered in the minds of the reader/viewer.

Free eBook chapter: Link to the stores or online urls where your eBooks’ chapters (select few not all) are available for download as free, is ideal thing to put in your promotional material. This again is a way to get the audiences involved with the book. Quotes or special lines from the book: Another important thing to include in your promotional material is some nice quotes or lines from your book, that define the ‘personality’ of your book and give a feel of things to come. These quotes better be the best ones or else the move can back fire.

Striking and noticeable Book Cover: The book cover is obviously an important part of your book as well as that of all the promotional activity. Simply put, it is the Face of your book and this face better be good since it is what the audience would recollect while your book is being discussed, at least till the time is not out.

Special Offers: Consider some special offers or tie-ins with certain stores or discounts for first 100-200 copies of the eBook purchase. This may also result in a spurt in buying once your book is out and if the content is good, it can only result is better reviews and more word-of-mouth promotions and can result in more sales.

How to buy your book: The most important part of your promotion is mentioning how to buy your book. The easier your make for the readers to access and buy your books, the better it is for your book. If the book is available on select stores than mention it in the promotionals so that the readers know exactly where to look to buy the books.

Connection with you: Having done it all, make sure you also give out ways for your readers to get in touch with you. An email id, where they can write a social media link where they can share and follow etc can go a long way in building followers. Also if you have managed to get email of the readers then sending them info on your upcoming books, once in a while is a good idea.

Things to avoid when creating an eBook

Creating an eBook is a journey in itself and like any journey it has its share of ups ad downs. Certain things are best avoided while creating an eBook.

EBooks are the thing today. Any author would like to have a version of their books in the digital format, since the medium has its own share of advantages over the traditional paperbacks. However to make the maximum of the medium one must avoid some obvious and basic mistakes while creating their eBooks. What are those, let us find out.

Improper content: Plagiarized content is always a no-no while writing an eBook, other things that are a complete no-no are illicit and explicit objectionable content such as erotica, racism, scandalous reports, misleading information, defaming anything or anyone etc. If the subject matter of your book is like an expose’ or something sensational, make sure you back it with enough data and evidence to back your claims, unless you want to invite trouble.

Pricing Information made obvious: eBooks are relatively cheaper and flexible in terms of pricing since the royalties are higher than the paperback books and the cost of making an eBook is too low to really command high prices. Hence, never ever have prices mentioned on the cover, back-cover, or any part of the book. This helps you to revise prices as and when and also come up with offers and discounts from time to time. It’s always good to have a choice.

Improper description: Not describing your book appropriately or not giving a description at all is pretty much the same in its ultimate result. So make sure your few lines describing your book are pretty good and are able to generate interest in the book or at least help people get the idea of the book.

Metadata issues: Kind of a glossary for your book, Metadata contains the details about your book from the titles, chapters, number of pages, index etc. It may also contain the pricing details if you want. This is mainly used by the distributors to identify your books and sort them and categorize them. Hence it is vital to get your Metadata (link to 6 common mistakes while creating eBooks) accurate or else your eBook may even be rejected.

Low quality or wrong format of Images: Images are integral to books unless of course you are writing a novel without the need for graphics. In any case images are necessary to break the monotony of words and also to take the story forward and at times to explain the story much better. Images better be of high resolution so that scalability will not be an issue. Also .jpeg and .png are preferred formats since they are universally compatible. Other thing to bear in mind is to have RGB color mode and not CMYK since it is a digital medium and RGB is the correct color mode.

By and large if you manage to avoid these basic mistakes you should be fine. However there are at times certain mistakes that can get your eBook rejected (link to 6 common mistakes while creating eBooks). We hope you get he gist and are able to make an error free eBook, both in terms of content and technicality.

How to write a great press release

Writing a good press release is an important aspect of your book promotion activity. It has to be beyond the average marketing campaign since it is more likely to be read and reviewed by journalists.

Press release is important for letting the word out for your book. It forms an integral part of your promotional campaign, and needs to be a bit beyond the usual selling routine since it’s the members of the press that will be your primary target and they may not be too keen on being sold anything.They need something that clicks with them; something that is factual and interesting at the same time conveys the message through to the end audiences. Maintaining a balance between these is the trick to writing a great press release.

Be factual and simple:

Bear in mind one thing, that the press release will be viewed by members of the press, mainly journalists. Hence being more factual and less towards the marketing and selling side of things is advisable. They go through a lot of press releases in a day and are not interested in being sold to anything. Also while being factual, make sure you keep it simple and straightforward.

Know your audience:

Press being only a part of your audience also means that the remainder of the audience can be the potential readers and followers of your work; and it is for this section that you should design your press releases. While you state some facts about your work process, the contents of the books etc also make sure you are targeting relevant audience with the relevant content in your press release. For instance a press release of a fictional suspense thriller should mention this detail and also present it in a way that is not run-of-the-mill like any other suspense story.

Summarize at the start:

People are busy, they browse through things first, and only if they find the initial few lines of interest, will they proceed and devote time to your press release. The first 2-3 lines of the press release should be able to grab the attention of the target audience and they should know what they will be reading into.

Heading, Subheading – Be good at that:

As a continuation of the above point, giving a great Title and then various catchy sub-headings etc is also important, since it helps a great deal to capture your reader’s attention.

Add a connection point for the readers:

A mere press release that states about your work, what to expect and when it hits the market is good but not good enough. It means the reader will read and say, “OK, fine…” and move on. What if they have any questions, any curiosity or if they want some additional information? Always have a point of contact at the end of the press release, something like for more details log on to a website or connect on Facebook or write to us at this email and so on.

Don’t Brag your book:

While keeping all the above in mind, also remember that you do not keep bragging about your book too much. Things like ‘ground -breaking’, ‘best-ever’, ‘one-of-its-kind’, and so on are not appreciated now-a-days since the press as well as the readers like to make that decision based on their sound judgement and don’t need you to be telling it to them.

End with your credentials:

While you do not brag about your book, you can just a little bit brag about yourself. Just a little bit though. Write about your achievements and past books that are famous etc at the end of the press release. You can even mention your expertise in a subject if you have written on that particular subject in the book you are promoting.

Use ‘Third-Person’:

Press release is not about you, it is about the readers and media, hence using ‘third-person’ is recommended. Do not go on like “I wrote this keeping in mind your preferences etc…” instead go for “This book is written keeping in mind the preferences of the person next door who is simple and etc, etc…”. Also while writing about yourself as mentioned above, write something like this “the author has written the best sellers like X, Y, Z…” or “Author is a Professor of (Subject) at (Place)…” and so on.

SEO:

Today’s world is “Non-Line”. I mean the bifurcation of On-Line and Off-Line is too blurred and whatever you do has to balance both, hence the term Non-Line. While writing a press release make sure you also write it from SEO or Search Engine Optimization point of view so that when someone is searching for your book online, they should be able to find your press release in search results and for that you need have relevant keywords in it.

These are some of the things, which if kept in mind while writing a press release can make it great. Obviously depending on the subject matter at hand some of it can change, while at times you may come up with something that is revolutionary or new that is different but can work wonders as a press release; don’t shy away from trying it. But if nothing of that sort happens, the above information will be useful to write a great press release.

Education through Self Publishing

Self-publishing has liberated the world of an indie author. It has also led to a new market altogether and garnered more readers. One more important thing it has done, and it is to help the education system.

Self-publishing has become more and more simplified and cost effective and has resulted in a majority of authors – new and old to take to the medium. However, this medium has found some unlikely contributors and patrons – Teachers. Yes, the medium has transcended from being a mere author and reader relationship to doing something even more meaningful, that is helping students get access to the content that matters to their stream of studies.

Teachers can convey the things they want to and students don’t need to go through outdated, forced and irrelevant subject matters like has been the case with the traditional education system. Of course, the syllabus won’t change just because the teachers can provide more relevant material, but at least students get something more to-the-point and can cut to the chase with relevant content written by their teachers. This is all possible since, teachers can now publish a book on their subject of expertise and relevant to their students with ease and at minimal or virtually no costs at all, thanks to self-publishing.

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Earlier if a teacher had to author a book on a particular topic, it involved publication and printing costs and especially the most time consuming process of finding a suitable publisher who understands the subject matter and knows how to present it well. All these hassles are things of the past with self-publishing since now the teachers can do it themselves and target specific subjects and topics as they would have liked. They can make multiple books on various levels of the subject which earlier was a challenge since it involved multiple publishing processes.

Also the biggest factor that is now a non-issue is the COST TO THE STUDENTS. Traditionally published books had their costs involved while publishing it, hence the same cost was passed onto the students, and thus not all could afford the bundle of knowledge that was resting in the shelves. Also carrying around heavy volumes of books wasn’t ideal, given all the text-books and other study material that was required to be carried by the students. Since, self-publishing has its cost to a minimal or even is at times free; the same is made very affordable or even free for the students, thus having access to the books by their teachers for relevant subject matter is much easier and affordable. Other factor is since it is digital, it easier to carry and even can be held in a cell-phone.

Apart from the costs and the ease of access, yet another factor that has made self-publishing in education desirable is the bookstores where these books can be available. Earlier educational books were only available at the student bookstores or libraries. Now, teachers can have their self- published book on sale at iBookstore, Amazon, Nook and such digital market places, making them widely available and more accessible to a wider audience. The information exchange is done easily, conveniently and in a much better and smarter manner. All these factors have led to a rise in the self-published educational content.

Twitter for Promoting eBooks

Social media is a powerful promotional tool. Be it a business or an eBook. Among those Twitter can be pretty handy as a promotional tool and can compliment your efforts on Facebook and other such media.

Twitter is simply put, a platform to express what’s on your mind in 140 characters. Well, now as writers, we write, and we write long. So how can 140 characters suffice for us? Well, it may not suffice for a book, but for promoting it, yes – it’s more than handy. Twitter is a great tool for writers to promote their work, just like any other social networking platform. It is open in nature, where in you follow people who you like, from your friends, to celebrities to businessmen to politicians.

So if you are a writer, you can follow other writers too and there is a whole community of writers out there on Twitter already. You follow someone, share their tweets. This way the ones following you get to know about the one you are following. The guy whom you are following also gets to see that you shared what he/she just posted on Twitter. If there is a surge in his followers through you, he will in time follow you too. This way now your posts are seen to his/her followers. This is unlikely in case of famous people, but for a community of writers where one follows the other, the entire reader base is shared and it is thus mutually beneficial for all. A large community of ready, interested people are in your pool, thanks to the simplicity and reach of Twitter and well, promotional activity is just the walk in the park from this point on.

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However, getting followers is not easy, and sustaining them is even more difficult. It they do not find you to be interesting, they can just ‘unfollow’ you. It is that simple. Hence for a successful Twitter campaign, one must keep the following in mind:

The Jargon:

Posts on Twitter are called ‘Tweets‘ and posting is called ‘Tweeting‘. Sharing someone else’s posts is known as ‘Retweeting‘. Important key phrases or words or a topic at large is represented by hashtags or # which is Ctrl+3 key on your keyboard.

Be yourself:

Be yourself. Just because you are too keen on promoting your eBook, do not bombard Twitter with it. Instead share a bit of your personality. Go a bit off topic at times. This way you will break the monotony of it all and also keep your followers intrigued. If you find a movie great, tweet it, if it sucked tweet it. If someone you are following tweeted something interesting, retweet it. Share your moods now and then, but don’t make it a page for the agony aunts, just subtle things, just for your followers to get a sense of who you are. Of course, tweet about your book, the journey, link to your blog or the bookstore where your book is available etc is just a part of it all, but shouldn’t be the sole aim.

Be Patient:

Remember to not give up too easily. When you follow someone on Twitter, they are notified that you are now following them. If they wish they can follow you immediately or later or maybe just block you. Getting followers on Twitter will take time and unlike most social media, you cannot give out invites to follow you or add you or something. People will follow you if they know you or find your tweets interesting, but it will take time. Follow the right people, encourage your friends to follow you and retweet something from your feeds so their followers can see you and maybe start following if the Tweet is interesting enough for them.

Share:

As mentioned in the opening paragraphs, posting or sharing tweets of people you follow is always handy and useful to. Retweeting may result in the person whose tweets you re-tweeted, returning the favour when you tweet something. This way the network and reach widens.

Also, not just retweets, you can share links to various other things of interest and relevance to your followers to get them hooked to you. Again, being yourself helps here.

Update:

Keep tweeting regularly. It need not be your next post about your book or about someone else’s tweet. It could just be how your day went or something weird with the world or anything that is trending on the news. Consistency is the key to having social media following. People expect something regularly but also relevant and interesting, so don’t be haphazard in your tweets.

Stay connected:

Twitter is one part of your promotional journey. The other social media need to be used too and so it is vital to have them all interlinked or connected with each other. Facebook and Twitter can be connected, this way whatever you post on Twitter is also shared as a your status on Facebook and vice versa. However you can specifically share links to something you posted exclusively on Facebook or Google Plus and do the same with your tweets; post about them on FB and G+ and so on. This way your followers are exposed to all your social media presence and if all of it has something to interest them – knowing about your book and it’s promotion is just a natural progression.